Our Founder

The Original “Wellness Warrior”

DEBORAH_052_crop_web.jpgWe were founded by Deborah Szekely, the 94-year-old original wellness warrior, who 76 years ago opened North America’s first health and fitness resort, Rancho La Puerta and later the Golden Door. Her seven decades of her work and living a life devoted to wellness—not just for herself but millions of others—have inspired her to continually press for change and innovation in America’s wellness policies and programs. She envisions a just and sustainable world where human and planetary health are protected and celebrated. 

Living a healthier and happier life in America has become complicated—needlessly, in the belief of Deborah Szekely, an activist, entrepreneur, James Beard-nominated author, former diplomat, and the planter of North America's first modern organic garden.

"When my husband and I first started out, it was never our intention to reach only the educated and the wealthy, and to limit nature’s teaching only to those who could afford it. It was always our conviction that health is the birthright of all.”

For generations of Americans, it was a given that children would live longer than their parents’ generation. But Deborah decided to take action when this enduring trend reversed itself and put American life expectancy 43rd on the United Nations list.

Although the causes for America’s drop in health and happiness are complex, the solution could be simple, Deborah reasoned. So she leveraged the American love affair with all things internet-based to found a Wellness Warrior initiative in 2010 that identifies news, best practices, research, and commonsense know-how. She also sees the initiative as a way to make waves. Wellness Warrior's latest effort is PolicyWell.com, an online congressional scorecard that will help millions of health and wellness conscious voters see how their values are being enacted by their representatives in Congress.

To Deborah, and the millions of spa-goers and colleagues she has in the fitness and spa movement, having a “spa” experience is an effective approach to achieving mind/body/spirit balance. This balance—this wellness—is a proven way live a longer, healthier life through the prevention of illness rather than waiting and wondering why it happens.

Seventy-six years ago, Deborah became one of the first “Wellness Warriors.” Never one to sit on the sidelines, today she travels and speaks ceaselessly on what must be done to reverse the unhealthy lifestyle trends that are so alarming today...especially in children. Become a Wellness Warrior today!

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  • commented 2014-09-04 18:12:13 -0400
    The latest trend in our “senior moment” therapy is pickleball. This is how we are going to be able to calibrate our eightieth birthday someday. It’s tennis, without the high impact. Keeps the old heart just skip-pen along.
  • commented 2014-08-29 10:59:17 -0400
    I visited based on the encouragement of Dr. Beverly Whipple, a woman who has been speaking ceaselessly to promote sexual health and wellness worldwide!
  • commented 2014-07-11 10:22:28 -0400
    thank you for the continuing inspiration. you have provided a place and a platform for peace to fluouris, minds to open and action be taken. bless you in your next endeavor.
  • followed this page 2014-05-22 16:25:52 -0400